PopSugarUK Interviews Robert & Emilie About co-stars & biscuits (Part 1,2 & 3)

* On playing brooding types, and whether he’d consider a lighter role:
“I did the kind of lighter stuff before Twilight came out, and it just so happened that Twilight’s become so much about the archetype of the brooding person. I mean I never thought that Tyler was that brooding to be honest [laughs], and then I just get it at every single thing, people saying, “brood, brood, brood” — I hadn’t even heard the word before Twilight! I guess I like to play broken and troubled characters because it seems more interesting, especially because I’m not that broken and troubled myself.”

* On his new roles:
“I’m doing something now [Bel Ami] that’s still quite dark, but the guy, his character isn’t so fractured, he’s just someone who’s incredibly focused and has a lot of confidence in himself, and nothing can shake his confidence. And then after that, I think there’s a kind of lighter thing as well. I don’t know, it’s not really that they’re angsty it’s just that joy seems to be more a universal emotion in script, it’s quite difficult — if you’re happy, you’re happy.”

* On how the character of Tyler developed:
“The script changed so much over seven months and just had loads and loads of re-writes. I tried to tailor things to what I was interested in, like the relationship with the dad changed quite a lot because I thought one of the things when you’re a young guy one of your biggest fears is this irrational fear of walking in your dad’s footsteps and living the same life as him. I thought, even if your dad’s a good guy, you just want to assert your independence on everything and it causes these irrational sort of rages.”

* On his own fighting history:
“I haven’t been in a fight in quite a long time, I think I’m too scared now. I think if I got in to a fight now, somebody would just kill me just for the sake of it [laughs]. I liked a lot of Tyler’s character, the rebelliousness and audaciousness of it, it’s like a fantasy of myself, like yeah, I’m the kind of guy who just randomly gets in fights. Yeah, I do it all the time. But, not really [laughs].”

* On filming the fight scenes:
Producer Nick Osborne: “I felt scared for you because the day you were doing the Chris Cooper fight, Chris was doing press-ups against the wall [laughs].”

Robert: “Yeah, he’s like unbelievably strong, he’s terrifying. And the fight I was having at the beginning I was doing it with this big stunt guy and I kept hitting this thing against the wall, next to his head. Then I was hitting him with what I thought was my full strength, I hit him in the head about four times and every time I hit him, I was like, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry’. And he’s like, ‘It’s fine, it didn’t even hurt’. Yeah, that was kind of an ego deflater!”

* On his friendship group:
“It’s nice that I’ve grown up with the same friends since I was 12, I have a very close knit set of them… I grew up with a lot of people who a lot of other people regarded as heroes, and no one ever came to me for advice, no one ever came to me for protection, and so I don’t ever really think I’ve been looked at as a hero.”

* On who he considers his hero:
“Outside of my family, I don’t really know. They’re great people and my parents are great parents, and they brought me up very well, I think. I don’t know, I think that’s about all the heroes I’ve had.”

* Robert on what convinced him to sign up to Remember Me:
“I think it was just I’d read tons and tons of scripts over the Summer after Twilight, I mean hundreds, and every one seemed exactly the same. This one, initially just how the dialogue was written, just seemed much more naturalistic than most things. Also Tyler as a character. I mean it seems like most movies that have a young, male protagonist as the lead, they have to be like either a virgin to begin with, and have to learn everything during the movie, or they go through the trials of the movie and end up a totally different person and they’re completely fine afterwards. But Tyler seems like he starts off with a lot of baggage and a very full-on developed character, and ends up just being developed in a slightly different way, rather than just becoming, ‘Oh, I’m fine now. After going through this movie, I’m fine’. And you just never see that in films very much, especially for young people. I think that’s what initially appealed to me.”

* Robert on whether there are pressures to film box office hits:
“I never like anything, so it’s quite easy to decide what to do, you know, even movies I’m not in [laughs]. I’ve never felt any pressure to do anything particularly, even while we were shooting, I never thought about the box office or anything, it’s only when it came to promoting it that people ask you about that stuff. Obviously, it’s not like a Twilight movie, it’s an original screenplay and it doesn’t fit into any genre either. It’s not really that much of a feel-good movie; they don’t make movies like it anymore. I guess that’s how I really choose stuff, that’s the only real criteria I have, if there seems to be a gap in the market for something, then I try to do that. I’m trying to do that with all the other things I’m doing afterward too.”

* Emilie on Lost ending:
“It has been a big part of my life and it’s been a great ride. It’s kind of bittersweet that it’s ending, I’m really happy that they made a decision consciously to announce an end like three years ago and evolve the story the way they wanted to — you know give it a beginning a middle and an end — and also that it’s ending on a high note, it’s not sort of trickling away when no one cares, so I think that’s really positive. But obviously you miss things about projects and people you work with.”

* Robert on how important the fan reaction is to his new films:
“When doing films like this which are quite difficult to just generically advertise, having something like Twilight and Lost gives it publicity immediately. I think if people go and see it, once you’ve got them into the cinema, it’s almost inevitable that they’ll get drawn in to it, hopefully. Yeah, so I don’t know, obviously you hope people like things, but if you start doing stuff to please a certain audience, then you’re going the wrong direction. I mean, you don’t even know the people you’re trying to please, especially when you’re trying to please huge swathes of people, but hopefully they like it.”

* Emilie on whether she thinks about her existing fan base in choosing roles:
“I think it’s interesting that it was never really conscious for me in that way, but yeah, why not use a pre-existing fan base. But as you’re saying, you’re not going to please every fan. Every fan of Twilight or Lost isn’t going to love everything you do; they might fall in love with the setting or a character for a certain reason from one thing, but not be into the next. For me, it was just about challenging myself in a different way, and not pigeonholing myself into one category of actor.”

* Emilie on working with her onscreen father Chris Cooper:
“I’ve just been a fan of his for years. He’s a very intense person, but a very giving person. It never felt like reading a scene: you’re watching and reacting.”

* Robert on his onscreen father Pierce Brosnan:
“I never ever would have thought initially that it would be someone like Pierce playing Charles. I think he sort of has an innate likeability to him, as soon as you meet him he’s very charismatic. And Charles, on the page, was someone who’s very domineering and quite a negative character, and Pierce just by being Pierce kind of changed the whole dynamic of it, which is great, and made it a much more interesting relationship. He’s very, very charming.”

* Robert on making his relationship with his onscreen sister seem natural:
“Well, I think that’s really all just Ruby [Jerins], who plays her. I mean, I don’t know have any younger brothers or sisters, I think I always wanted a younger sibling — not that I have anything against my sisters! But she’s just one of the best actresses I’ve ever worked with. She’s surprisingly articulate about her character. When I first met her, she seemed like a very, very normal kid, but when she started talking about her character, and her character’s development, she could talk about it for hours and she could also just improvise for hours and hours and hours. She was so comfortable in front of the camera and working with adults, she was really amazing. It’s very easy to do anything with her, you could just look at her and know what to do immediately.”

* Emilie on developing her New York accent:
“In general, I love accents, and have to use them quite a lot when you’re in the States. It just adds another layer to the character for me, and it takes you further away from yourself. It was interesting with Ally, because she’s from Queens, she grew up in Queens, and so originally I was thinking do a very authentic Queens accent. Then by going up there and talking to our amazing dialect coach who was on set all the time about it, I really noticed and observed up there that the younger generation, like teens and early twenties, didn’t have a strong accent at all. I’ve noticed that in other places too, just sort of dissipating all over the world because of more and more constant influx of media, whether it’s through the Internet, and TV, and radio, and people traveling more, that it’s really the older people that still have that accent.”

* Robert on where his New York accent came from:
“I think it just came out of the script. I pretty much had the same voice from the first time I read the script to the whole way through the movie. Sometimes, when you’re lucky, you read a script and the voice comes out right. I wasn’t even conscious of doing a New York accent, I don’t even know what borough or anything, it just sounded like — I mean, I’ve spent time in New York and just trying to pick up on how people speak. But it’s also — I don’t know where my accent is now, I wouldn’t say I have a specific London accent.”

* Robert and Emilie on their favourite biscuits:

Robert: “You know when they say in America, like chicken and biscuits, I became very attached to that because I’d drive by these restaurants and they’d say ‘chicken and biscuits’ and I was like ‘why?’ But I had one and it was very nice, so now I’m changing my opinion of what can be defined as a biscuit. [But in terms of brands of biscuits] I do like a hob nob.” [laughs]
Emilie: “[For me] maybe like a madeline.”
Robert: “That’s not a proper…” [laughs]
Emilie: “Yes it is, Pepperidge Farm makes them in the States. I’m not looking for any endorsements!”

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